Saturday 1 October 2016

'Cool clock, want to bring it to the White House?' - Obama issues invitation to teen arrested after his homemade clock was mistaken for bomb

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 17/09/2015 | 15:18

Irving MacArthur High School student Ahmed Mohamed (14) poses with homemade clock Credit: Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News (AP)
Irving MacArthur High School student Ahmed Mohamed (14) poses with homemade clock Credit: Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News (AP)

President Barack Obama has weighed in on the worldwide #IStandWithAhmed twitter campaign and pledged his support for the 14-year-old Muslim teenager arrested by police in Texas after taking a homemade clock to school.

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The Police Department in Irving, Texas, have stated they will not be pursuing charges against Ahmed Mohamed for making a hoax bomb.

Initially his family were told that a juvenile criminal prosecution was likely.

Mr Obama invited the teenager to take his clock to the White House.

"Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House?," he said on Twitter.

"We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."

The White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters that Ahmed had been invited to its astronomy night next month with NASA astronauts and other young people.

"In this instance, it's clear that at least some of Ahmed's teachers failed him. That's too bad," he said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also voiced his support for the American schoolboy.

"Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed," Mr Zuckerberg wrote on his own page.

Ahmed Mohamed thanking supporters during a news conference at his home Credit: Brandon Wade
Ahmed Mohamed thanking supporters during a news conference at his home Credit: Brandon Wade

Engineers from Google, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA also backed Ahmed and offered him and a tour of their facilities.

As public outrage over his arrest grew, people voiced their support for the youngster on twitter using the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed

The teenager said that he had lost his innocence following his detention by police.

He said that the experience made him feel like a criminal.

“I like science, but I look like a threat because of my brown skin," he said.

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